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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I cook delicious food and take pictures of it. I hope you enjoy!

Summer Penne with Basil Pesto

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Basil plants are awesome. They smell delicious, they keep you from buying batch after batch of basil at the store, and they are easy to grow. But that's part of the problem. They grow and they grow and they grow. We've had a few heat waves this summer, and my basil plants are going crazy. We have basil everywhere, and it's time to use some up. I found this delicious recipe for pesto from America's Test Kitchen, and it was a perfect way to use up some of the surplus basil from the backyard. If you want to make it a more substantial meal, it's great with some roasted chicken on it (you can even cheat and buy one of the rotisserie chickens from the store).Penne with Basil PestoIf you're not a huge fan of pesto, this is a great recipe to try out. You'll be blanching the garlic before you use it in the pesto, so you'll lose that strong garlic bite. I also like using almonds instead of pine nuts, as you get a bit of a different flavor. Whatever nuts you use - walnuts or pine nuts will work too - make sure you toast them first. They'll add a nice nutty flavor.Basil Arugula Pesto


Summer Penne with Basil Pesto
Ingredients
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, threaded on a skewer
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (If you love the taste of parsley, use the full 2 Tbsp - if you're not a huge fan, 1 Tbsp will do)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted (you can also use pine nuts or walnuts)
  • 7 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound penne pasta
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Lowe the skewered garlic into the water and boil for 45 seconds. Immediately run the garlic under cold water and remove them from the skewer. Peel and mince the garlic. Don't dump the water, you'll be using it for the pasta.
  2. Place the basil and parsley in a ziploc bad and pound with something heavy - the flat side of a meat tenderizer works well. Bruising the leaves helps bring out the flavor of the basil.
  3. Combine the basil, garlic, nuts, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the edges as necessary. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and stir in the cheese. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring often until al dente. Save 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta back into the pot, stir in the pesto and the 1/4 cup of cooking water. If it's too dry, use more of the reserved cooking water to adjust the consistency. Serve immediately.

Basil Arugula Pesto

 

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